ANDREW FLINTOFF today urged England to ensure the Ashes whitewash was not "a pointless exercise" after Australia completed an emphatic 10 wickets victory in the final Test.
The England captain became the first to preside over a 5-0 Ashes series defeat since 1920-21 before lunch on the fourth day in Sydney when Australia chased down their victory target of 46 in only 10.5 overs.
It completed a miserable trip for the tourists, but Flintoff insisted England should learn from the experience and make themselves stronger.
"One thing we've got to do, myself and the rest of the lads, is make sure that this can't be a pointless exercise," said Flintoff.
"I know we've been beaten 5-0, but this is a young side and it's important we learn from this and move forward.
"Some of the lads have scored runs and had success and shown they can compete against the best in the world.
"Young lads like Alastair Cook scoring a hundred, and then Paul Collingwood, Kevin Pietersen and Matthew Hoggard - in patches they have played well.
"I think every one of us has learned something about our games and how we can improve and take it forward.
"Australia have stuck to their plans and exploited weaknesses and it's something we can look at and improve going forward."
He added: "We've come up against a side here that have been fantastic throughout the series. They hit us hard in the first game and whenever we've got a foot in the door since it's been closed in front of us."